Saturday, October 18, 2003

Indianapolis Marathon (Indiana)

October 19, 2003
Marathon 27, State #21
Indianapolis, Indiana

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Mt. Rushmore Marathon (South Dakota)

October 12, 2003

Marathon 26, State #20

Rapid City, South Dakota




Friday, October 10, 2003

Harney Peak, South Dakota (7,242)

15th High Point Visited
15th Highest State High Point
19th Most Difficult


"Amid much controversy in the state of South Dakota, the former Harney Peak is now officially Black Elk Peak, following a ruling by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names on August 11, 2016. That ruling will affect how the summit is named on all federal maps in the future"

Awaking at 4:45 a.m. in Columbus, Oh it's hard to believe that several hours later we would be a top of a mountain in South Dakota so far from home.  We stepped off our plane in Rapid City and felt the wind, at only 10 a.m. local time the mountain air was very chili.  I was excited to head to the mountains and make a late afternoon summit.

We drove past Mount Rushmore National Monument on the way giving us a glimpse of the famous mountain faces.  We continued up the road to our trail head at Sylvan Lake.  This beautiful lake welcomed us to the mountain trail.  Our climb was never strenuous and often seemed as if we were hiking downhill.  From across a valley we caught our first peek of the house on the summit.  The trail seemed to wind away from the summit, but before long we were already at one of the last forks in the trail before we started our summit push.

We hung our packs on a tree and took only a bottle of water and camera bag.  We past a couple that told us we were less than five minutes from the top, yet we couldn't see because of the dense trees.  Once we saw a small clearing and some stairs that headed straight up we knew we were very close.  It was great to see Homeyra's excitement for her first summit.

A large group of college aged hikers were spread across the summit area.  We explored the house on the summit and enjoyed the views in all directions.  As we soon noticed after the large group left we had the top of the mountain to ourselves.  Whoo hoo!

We picked a new trail downward and hiked around some rocks called the cathedrals.  We also were seemingly lost for a short period, it seemed as if our map didn't exactly match the new trail system.  I think we made and extra 1.5 miles by taking the new trail, but sights were worth it.  On the way to the hotel we stopped and visited Rushmore with a storm slowly rolling in and the temperature dropping.


Mount Rushmore National Memorial (2003)

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Humphreys Peak, Arizona (12,633)

14th High Point Visited
10th Highest State High Point
10th Most Difficult

This was the last full day in Arizona after having hiked the Grand Canyon only two days prior.  I began at dawn (5:50 a.m.) to summit early before any possible afternoon thunderstorms.  Homeyra dropped me off at the trailhead with only three other cars in the parking area.  I wasn't planning on racing to the summit, but I tried to hike briskly at least until I got to a sign that notified me that the elevation was 11,500 feet.  I missed a switchback early in the hike and ended up in a big lava field of boulders.  I managed to make it back to the trail and continue upward.  After the 11,500 feet mark the trail soon became more steep and more rugged. 

I was passed by a trail runner and only two hikers.  I passed about five hikers including a man from Kansas that is trying for all 50 states.  I experienced the noisy sounds of the bird known as "Clark's Nutcracker".  They seemed to sing as a warning that I was invading their territory.  There were tow hikers that seemed to be traveling my same pace and we seemed to leap frog each other.  They stopped hiking about every 10 feet to rest and I sat down every couple minutes to catch my breath using many of the giant rocks as perfect seats.  Later when we passed each other again they told me that they adopted my style of sitting down and I told them I adopted their style of stopping every 10 feet.  (it was comical at the time) 

As the summit drew closer I was aware of the three false summits so didn't get my hopes up too high when I thought I was reaching the top and couldn't see anyone else there.  To my surprise the others were on the far side of the rather flat summit and I had finally made it after three hours of hiking.  It took two hours to reach the saddle and another hour from the saddle to the summit.  The most difficult part of the trail was the last mile.  Along the ridge was still very steep and very rocky.  I found the register canister and signed it, but could not locate the USGS marker which seemed to have been covered by the many rocks at the summit built up to block the elements. 

In my 30 minutes at the summit the regulars told me of high winds and cold temperatures, but not today.  It was sunny, clear, calm, and warm.  The clear skies offered a great 360 view of the surrounding area.  I could see Sedona in one direction and the opposite direction the north rim of the grand canyon.  I also learned that there were two different airplanes that have crashed into the side of the mountain.  I made friends with another hiker from Phoenix on the way down and shared stories all the way back to the trailhead.  My beautiful wife was waiting for me at the trailhead right on time!

Sunday, April 27, 2003

New Jersey Shore Marathon (New Jersey)

April 27, 2003
Marathon 25, State #19
Long Branch, New Jersey

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Triple Crown Trail Marathon (Delaware)

April 26, 2003

Marathon 24, State #18

Newark, Delaware




Saturday, March 29, 2003

Ellerbe Springs Marathon (North Carolina)

March 29, 2003

Marathon 23, State #17

Ellerbe, North Carolina




Sunday, February 2, 2003

Las Vegas Marathon (Nevada)

February 2, 2003

Marathon 22, State #16

Las Vegas, Nevada